As of 1 May, 3,078 refugees and migrants have been registered as rescued/intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard and disembarked in Libya. This year, 839 persons of concern to UNHCR have disembarked in Libya. UNHCR and its partner, the International Rescue Committee, continue to provide medical assistance and core relief items (CRIs) at the disembarkation points.
Last week witnessed the suspension of activities at both the Community Day Centre and the Serraj Registration Centre due to new curfew measures. On 26 April, activities resumed, thanks to humanitarian waivers received from the authorities, which applies to both UNHCR and partner staff, allowing work to continue. The reduced curfew (1800 to 0600) since 28 April has seen the resumption of services (including cash assistance) and higher attendance at both facilities. The delivery of services is still by appointment-only and the social distancing measures imposed by the COVID-19 situation are being respected. The opening time for services reflects the schedule of public services in the month of Ramadan (0900 to 1400). All changes in the service opening hours and modalities are communicated to refugees via flash updates disseminated through social media and community contacts.
UNHCR and partner, CESVI, have rolled out a remote Protection Needs Assessment (PNA) modality as a way of continuing to identify and monitor protection needs, while also taking into account ongoing movement restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 23 April, the first virtual and highly interactive meeting with 15 refugee community representatives was held via a video conferencing application. This innovative way of interacting with UNHCR was an opportunity for refugees to raise current concerns. Foremost was the large number of urgent medical cases during the curfew hours and the need to have a a consistent and reliable mobile medical team on standby. UNHCR is looking at ways of improving this. The increasing prices of groceries and the inability to work were also emphasized. Next week, UNHCR begins a series of Ramadan distributions of food, hygiene kits and CRIs in urban areas.
UNHCR’s response to COVID19 is ongoing. In particular, UNHCR’s partner LibAid continues distribution in Benghazi settlements for the internally displaced (IDPs) of UNHCR bars of soap (two pieces per individual). On 26 April, the following locations were reached: Riyadiya 2 camp (412 individuals) and Shebna camp (168 individuals). On 27 April, LibAid reached the two largest Tawerghan settlements: Al Haleis (1,440 individuals) and Guaryouness (915 individuals). With this, all Tawerghan settlements in Benghazi and almost 4,500 individuals have been covered. Soap distribution will continue in other Eastern cities, settlements and camps.
On 26 April, 175 detainees held at Trik Al-Sikka detention centre, were provided with CRIs, including hygiene kits (males & females) as well as blankets, mattresses, and socks, by partner LibAid.